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New accessible temporary home for people with Spinal Cord Injury in Chatham

Press Release   •   Dec 19, 2013 08:45 GMT

Aspire, a leading charity supporting people paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, will be launching a new Aspire house in Chatham in partnership with Southern Housing Group, one of southern England's largest housing associations, owning and managing 26,000 homes for more than 66,000 residents, on Friday 10th January 2013 at 2.00pm.

Aspire houses provide temporary accessible homes for people with spinal cord injuries while a more permanent solution is being arranged. The launch, which will be attended by local MP Tracey Crouch, will involve a tour of the house and the opportunity to meet with the first resident.

Every eight hours, someone in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Due to the general lack of accessible housing in the UK, many spinal injured people face the prospect of delayed discharge, being discharged into nursing homes or having to live in unsuitable housing. Unsuitable housing can mean anything from returning to a house where they will have to wash in the kitchen because the bathroom is inaccessible, to only being able to leave the property when friends or family are around to carry them out to the pavement outside.

Alex Rankin, Director of Services for Aspire, said,

“Spinal Cord Injury can happen to anyone at any time. A lack of accessible housing means that around 89% of spinal injured people are forced to live in inappropriate or inaccessible accommodation after leaving hospital. 20% of spinal injured people have no choice but to live in a care home whilst they wait for a property or for adaptations. Aspire, with the assistance of housing associations around the country, helps to eradicate barriers to living an independent life by providing temporary homes with fully accessible features. This allows individuals to regain their confidence and get on with their lives whilst permanent accessible housing is arranged. Aspire currently has 35 accessible properties around the UK and as part of an expansion in our Housing programme we are excited to be working with Southern Housing Group to open a new Aspire House in Chatham.”

Tony Hughes, Thames Gateway Regional Director for Southern Housing Group, said,

"Southern Housing Group are pleased to be working in partnership with Aspire to launch a new accessible temporary home for people with Spinal Cord Injury in Chatham. We have a long history of providing quality homes and services to people with a range of needs and we are committed to developing and supporting all important partnerships which help people live independently."

The current tenant, who will be present at the launch event, is available for interviews on request.

For further information, or to attend the launch, please contact Amy Wackett, Communications Manager at Aspire, on 020 8420 8957 or email

Aspire is a leading national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injuries. For more information, visit Aspire is Registered Charity Number 1075317

Over the last 110 years, Southern Housing Group has become one of the largest housing associations in the south of England, housing 66,000 residents, managing more than 25,500 homes, employing almost 800 people and working with more than 70 local authorities across the South East, including the Isle of Wight.

  • Our mission of ‘Unlocking the potential of people and places’ unites the organisation behind a common set of qualities and objectives.
  • Our activities focus on four key areas: the development of quality affordable housing; housing and neighbourhood management; a range of housing options for rent and home ownership; and social and economic regeneration.
  • Our social and economic regeneration work is undertaken to improve the lives of residents in the communities and neighbourhoods where we build and manage homes. It provides tangible evidence of our commitment to building sustainable communities.

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